Contextual Education Sites

  • Office of Contextual Education
    (510) 559-2713
  • Leslie Veen, Director
    (510) 559-2749
  • Amanda Nelson, Administrative Assistant
    (510) 559-2713

Contextual Education is an integral part of the degree programs offered at PLTS.  Congregations and agencies are encouraged to participate in seminary education by hosting students during their Teaching Parish and/or Internship requirements.

Teaching Parish

Teaching Parish is a field education component of the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree program that provides students the occasion to explore and discover the joys, challenges, and opportunities for ministry and leadership in the congregation.

The pastor of the congregation acts as the student’s supervisor and is expected to meet with the student at least once a month; these meetings provide time to reflect on how the work is going, highlighting both areas of strength as well as areas for growth. A Lay Committee of at least three lay members of the congregation is also established, and is expected to meet with the student at least twice each semester to reflect with the student on areas of strength as well as areas for growth. Both the supervising pastor and the Lay Committee are expected to complete evaluations at the end of each semester.

To apply to become a Teaching Parish site (must be completed annually), complete the application and return it to the Contextual Education office.

Teaching Parish Forms 
Teaching Parish Manual


Candidates for ELCA ordination are required to complete a 12 month, full-time internship in a congregation or a combination agency-congregation site, under the supervision of an experienced pastor. The purpose of internship is to facilitate the development of vocational skills and pastoral formation.

To apply to become an internship site, please fill out our Internship Site Intent to Apply Form and submit it to the Contextual Education Office by early December to let us know of your intentions. If you decide to apply to be an internship site, please fill out and submit an Internship Site Application [intern_site_apply.pdf] by early January (specific dates can be verified by the Contextual Education Office).

Internship Forms 
Internship Handbook – Students and Supervisors
Internship Handbook – Lay Committee